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King Hall, Brown University (Robert W. Taft House)

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Robert W. Taft House
1895, Stone, Carpenter and Willson. 154 Hope St.
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)
  • (Photograph by Patricia Lynette Searl)
  • (Photograph by Patricia Lynette Searl)
  • (Photograph by Patricia Lynette Searl)

Here Edmund Willson applied the curved gable of the Joseph Brown House not only to the gable ends, but to the front porch, the three dormers, and the conservatory on the south side as well. The house is a cardinal example of the colonial revivalist's focusing on a particularly distinctive motif from the past and exaggerating it to new effect. Significantly, in 1877 Alfred Stone, Willson's partner, acquired the very copy of William Salmon's Palladio Londinensis which had originally been owned by Joseph Brown's carpenter and had been passed down through other Providence carpenters since the eighteenth century. Salmon illustrated the curved gable for use in a summer house, so Willson's use of the design for the conservatory at least is doubly “correct.”

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "King Hall, Brown University (Robert W. Taft House)", [Providence, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 118-118.

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